Sunday, April 6, 2014

Babywearing: Ring Sling

Maya Ring Sling
One thing that a lot of family and friends ask me about is babywearing.  I was introduced to babywearing by my good friend Katie, she told me to try an Ergo and a Moby once the baby came.  The Moby and I had a hate hate relationship, but the Ergo has been great (I'll be writing about it later).  You may be asking yourself, what is babywearing?  It is literally the act of wearing your baby.  Using different products you can wrap your baby to you.  It then allows you to have your arms free while your little one comes along for the ride, and gives you more support whenever you have to carry your baby for long periods of time.

When babywearing the most important thing to take note of is that whatever product you use allows your baby to sit as if he/she were in a seat.  The fabric of the product should support them from one knee to the other.  You should also always wear your baby facing inward or on your back (once your little one is able to support their head on their own).

This is an example of how the baby's legs should be supported when babywearing (knee to knee support).

When Ethan was around 3 months old and I was completely exhausted, the house was filthy, and Ethan didn't want me to ever put him down, I went to a Babywearing 101 class taught by Ivonne Gonz.  A whole new world was opened to me, I never knew there were so many options when babywearing.

The first product I'll be talking about is the Ring Sling (RS).  The Ring Sling is one large rectangular piece of fabric that has two large rings at the end of it.  When you put it on it looks as if the baby is sitting in a small hammock.  The Ring Sling I have has a padding on the part that rests on your shoulder, which I like, but some people prefer Ring Slings without the padding.  I was able to buy a used Maya Ring Sling for $30.00 from a mom in my facebook babywearing group (which has been an awesome support).  If you want to get into babywearing and are feeling as lost as I did, then I highly recommend joining a babywearing group in your area.  Another amazing resource has been Ivonne Gonz, she is a certified babywearing educator and she runs the online shop Hip Mommy.  If you live in Ventura County, Ivonne constantly has babywearing classes, and she rents out different babywearing options that you can try out before you buy anything.  Her shop also carries all of the different baby wearing products that are out there.

Sorry, I keep trying to tell you about the Ring Sling, and then going off on tangents.  The Ring Sling is a great babywearing option for new moms.

Ring Sling Pros:
  1. Can use with a newborn.
  2. It's easy to put on.
  3. Works for people of different sizes; this is a problem Jeff and I ran into when trying to babywear.  I'm 5'1 and Jeff's 5'11; since there is such a huge difference in size between us the products that fit me are too small for him, and vice versa, but the Ring Sling fits us both perfectly.  If you have a husband who is much larger than you this is a great option. 
  4. Comes in endless colors and patters.  
Ring Sling Cons:
  1. The baby is only supported by a strap on one shoulder, so it doesn't give mom as much support as some of the other babywearing options out there.  I have always had back and posture problems, so for me the Ring Sling is actually the least comfortable option.  I only use it when making a quick trip to the store or a few hands free minutes at home.
  2. Can become tiring very quickly (if you have an older, heavier child).  
Below i'm going to include some pictures of me using the Ring Sling with Ethan.  I put this on very quickly so it isn't put on as well as I usually do, the rings are too low, so don't use my pictures as a guide for how yours should look.  I have included a good YouTube video of how to put the Ring Sling on and adjust it.

Ring Sling Video Tutorial

Ring Sling Video Tutorial with a Newborn

*Since I'm new to babywearing, each of my babywearing posts will be a short intro to the products I use and really like. I'm a beginner in all of this myself and therefore don't feel comfortable giving long tutorials; I highly recommend you continue to research any products you might be interested in, and try to find babywearing groups in your area that can offer support.
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